Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What's up world?

Zoe Anne Weston's photo.
Elder Searle and his companion Elder Cortez at Christmas Zone Conference

Dear Family
Waz up? I'm cold... It’s  -10 here right now.... ITS COLD!!!
So I'm just going to go through my days and just tell what I did each day since thats easier to do.
Monday - Just normal P-day stuff, We played our Pokemon game again since its the greatest game ever!
Tuesday - We went and did our white elephant shopping at the Goodwill here, I got some creepy looking clown that plays music when you turn it on. It’s really scary, we had to put it in the corner of the room because neither of us liked looking at it. We then tried to do service there but they wouldn't let us, We then went to the main Salvation Army place where they have their church and school and we did service there. We helped move all the toys they had in a room and went and organized them in the gym according to age. They have a Christmas shopping trip thing where families can come and pick out certain things for free. They had A LOT of toys  We also went back on Saturday  and helped take the families around,
Wednesday - We walked in the middle of town like all day. We were trying to meet less active members but no one was home. I think we walked like 15 miles that day...We did go and meet with a less active. He really seems to like us but not sure if he has time to read the Book of Mormon or pray or anything. Hopefully we can go back and teach him more before he moves out with his friend.
Thursday - We had our Christmas zone conference with our zone and another zone, it went from  8am - 5pm. It was really cool and each district had to do a song or a skit so we  sang Silent Night.
Friday- We got a referral to go see this older dude who just moved into our ward. He lost his wife a few months ago and he REALLY wants to be sealed to her in the Temple so we are going to help him get there.

Saturday - We helped a lady move out of her trailer home, she has been there for 30 years and she had a lot of stuff!!
Sunday - We went around after church and shoveled snow for people for about 2 hours. We were able to meet the Belts, the wife just got back from the hospital for the second time this week. She has some infection and they are trying to get rid of it. She asked if we could give her a blessing so we were able to do that. She doesn’t believe everything about the church but she knew that the blessings really do work.
So ya, here is my week, I'm trying to save stuff to talk about when we Skype on CHRISTMAS!!! :D
Love Elder Searle

Monday, December 16, 2013


1st Area...Council Bluffs Iowa
View from our home
Our backyard
My room
the basement we live in
 Where we study and plan
Members home we live in
Our car we get every 3 days

 Ward Christmas Party with Elder Cortez and Juan who we started teaching
 Taking a rest after walking all day in the bitter cold!!

 Thanksgiving dinner at The Mormon Trail Center
Gingerbread House display at The Mormon Trail Center

Mormon Trail Center

 Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple

 Heading out in the bitter cold! It's been -14!!
Meeting my Mission President-Brother and Sister Weston
 Crashing at the hotel after arriving in Nebraska, best sleep in a long time!
 Heading to Nebraska!!
 MTC wash room
 This guy was left in our room at the MTC
 Elder Searle and Elder Harda at the Provo Temple

 Where we spent most of our time...classrooms

 My room at the MTC

1 month of service

Dear Family,
So I made a list of things I did each day, so hopefully you can understand what I did better.

Monday-P-day We played lots of board games. We played this weird Munchins game and a sweet Pokemon board game. It was a blast.

Tuesday - We knocked on doors for almost the whole day. Nothing was really accomplished this day but we tried our best. Tuesday nights are when we usually play ultimate frisbee with some people from the ward and we bring some investigators to it. But the other ward were using the gym so we just went to the bishops house and played card games with his wife and an investgator. Sister Keller is CRAZY when it comes to games. We played spoons, and she would literally throw them all over her house and she even dove and flew over the table we were playing on. She is pretty crazy, so is the rest of the bishops family.

Wednesday - We had a zone conference thing, it was pretty cool and afterwards, our super rich stake president paid for all 40ish of us to eat at Golden Coral. We ate like everything they had out there, there were so many of us. We also were finally able to talk to Mike Kozack, he is someone that the other missionaries have been working on for quite a while. He was hit by a c4 while in the army and is still recovering from that. He cracked some things in his spine, lost some of  his hearing and eye sight in one eye. He tore his ACL and MCL in BOTH LEGS!!! POOR DUDE!!... He also broke some ribs. Anyway, we were able to talk to him and his family for a little bit. He isn't quite sure what to believe because of what he thinks and also because he has seen a lot of other religions around the world.

Thursday – Knocked on more doors, FUN!!! We were able to find some people that might be interested. We were able to teach Melissa, she was a Jehovah Witness but she doesn't want her kids to grow up with that. She really liked what we shared/taught her, she thinks that its really cool for us to leave our families for 2 years to teach. We also had these AWESOME ENCHILADES for dinner!!!! They were SOOOO GOOOD!! :) We have been eating in "Mini Provo" lately, which is the place full of young families going to law school, medical school.

Friday - We helped at the Red Cross again, we were helping them move boxes and had to count all the bags in them. We also were able to help an older dude who is having health problems move a new dryer in for him. We pretty much did service for the day and had to weekly plan which took like 2 hours so most of our day was taken up by this.

Saturday-We taught 3 lessons!!! Thats the best we have done the whole time we have been here. We were able to teach Tyler and Shelby again. They have kind of been ignoring us and not answering their phones but I guess they have been "too busy". But on our way to their house, we were driving and got stopped by 4 trains!!! We waited for like 20 mins for all the trains to go by, We would wait for one to pass then go down like a block or two and would have to wait for another train. But when we finally got to their house, they were unlocking their doors and going in because they just got back from shopping.... Pretty cool how things work :)

Sunday- I HAD TO TALK IN SACRAMENT!!! SCARY!!! I only had an hour to prepare because he called me the day before and I could only work on it during Personal Study and the little free time I had... it was ok I guess, I only took like 6 mins but hey who cares :). We went and ate lunch after church at Tyler's and we had spaghetti, they made enough food to feed the whole army. They just DUMPED it on our plates, then they took them when we were almost done and DUMPED another scoop on it... Lets just say we didn't have dinner that night we ate so much...

So my week has been better, I enjoyed the box dad sent me, Those thermal garments are keeping me toasty!! They are good. That's also cool that Elder Cortez's mom emailed you. (his companion) His family seems really nice.

Anyway, have a fun week!
 p.s I have been in a 2013 Camaro, a jacked up Jeep with HUGE tires, an old white piece of crap car that had no rear suspension, that was a bumpy ride!! AND a 2013 or 2014 Ford Super Duty Diesel ( I'm pretty sure we jumped the train tracks in it)

Love: Elder Searle

Monday, December 9, 2013


Mom,  I'm going to answer your questions real quick. We go to the library on P days to email. It is a HUGE library as we are sitting on the second floor right now. It is SOOOOO cold!!!!  It has been around -15F this week and the wind is sooo cold. Its miserable out here to tell you the truth. I am around a Wal-Mart, Target, Subway, Pepperjax, Buffalo Wild Wings ( member took us there already!!) Quackers, and pretty much everything else. My companion is from Cali and he has never seen snow before so its SUPER cold for him. I will be able to skype on Christmas. We are going to a SUPER cool members house that day for dinner and remember that I'm an hour ahead here.

I'm going to try to sum up everything I did this week. Its really hard to think because I'm trying to hurry and type everything before my hour is up. There is a counter on the computer screen and it stresses me out. So this week we did a lot of walking in the FREEZING cold and snow. We finally got snow last night and it made the roads really icy. It is too cold to ride bikes so we are walking when we don't have our car which sucks because we have to walk a little over a mile up and down these hills. So we were able to do service at the Red Cross a couple of days ago. They had an ambulance  full of boxes and we had to take them out and stack them up in piles. It took about 2 hours to do.

We have only really been teaching one person and his name is Tyler. He is married to Shelby and she is a member. What's funny is,  the person who is feeding us and letting us skype on Christmas are Shelby's parents and they are really nice. They have their own catering business and they cook some MEAN food! We ate there last night and had Mexican food. Anyway Tyler is coming along, we are going to teach him on Thursday so hopefully that goes well.

We went and ate at Quackers on Tuesday because they have endless wings that day. Travis would love eating there because they have cars hanging up and they play rock and roll music. They have it look like we are eating in a big car garage so its really cool. We met a member in the ward named Shawn. He has been off his mission for 2 or 3 years now. He is really funny and chill. He has been taking us out lately and driving us around when we don't have a car.   We have meals for every day this month but one I think. And the member we are living with lets us eat all of his food too so we are taken care of very well. Other then that, we spent our days walking in the cold and knocking on doors. We really just have to knock on doors because the Elders before us didn't leave us much and they were really lazy.

It is sooo cold here! I'm wearing everything I have but the cold still gets to you. My face is completely numb after just a few minutes of being outside. Its hard trying to teach people on what I know is true and having them just tear you apart. I have had two guys that just tore us apart and tell us how stupid we are and that we are wasting our time out here. It sucks not being able to see/talk to you guys. I have also noticed how much I miss watching Sunday football all the time. :) I really didn't think that would be an issue. I'm trying my best to look on the bright side but that had been really hard to do.

It's just A LOT harder then what I thought it would be. Makes me realize that I wish I had spent less time on the computer and more time doing things with the family. I had no idea that I would be missing football and watching Parker play all of his games.

I forgot to mention that we had our ward Christmas party this week. We had a less active come, she is really poor right now and before she left we made sure that she took home LOTS of food. It was a cool program. We missed some of the program because we took Rebecca and her friend for a tour of the church before they left since they mostly came for the food... :P Our church is at the stake center that looks EXACTLY like ours!! Its crazy, I get these flash backs all the time when I'm by the stake pres office.

 I've just been focusing on the positive side and trying not to give up. I think my time is about up on the computer, the fastest hour EVER is when I'm emailing. Anyway take care and I love you all.
Love, Elder Searle
We received this cute picture in the mail with his mission president, Brother and Sister Weston. They are from Logan and Brendan LOVES them!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

1st pictures from the mission home

A huge thank you to Sister Weston for posting these!!

Our largest group ever to join the mission at once! 31 new missionaries of the Nebraska Omaha Mission!!!!!!!!

Our largest group ever to join the mission at once!  31 new missionaries of the Nebraska Omaha Mission!!!!!!!!

Thanksgiving dinner for their second day in the mission!! These are some valiant souls, willing to leave home and family to serve. We love them for it!!!

Thanksgiving dinner for their second day in the mission!!  These are some valiant souls, willing to leave home and family to serve.  We love them for it...

Zoe Anne Weston's photo.


Thanksgiving 2013

Gingerbread House display at the Mormon Trail Center
Gingerbread at the Mormon Trail Center

Bert N Sandy Ellsworth's photo.

They then took us to the Temple and Mormon Trail Center on Thanksgiving day. I got some awesome pictures that I really want to send home soon so you can see them. We had thanksgiving at the Mormon Trail Center with all the missionaries that are there. There were about 60ish + people there.They had LOTS of food and pumkin pie that tasted like it was in the washer... it was gross compared to your AWESOME PIE!. They also had a gingerbread house showing at the Mormon Trail Center. They have TONS of houses all over, I took pictures of some of them since I didn't have much time there. Also when we got to the airport, our mission pres and wife met us there, they are both really cool btw, but two Elders came and picked us up in two HUGE vans and one of them was hauling a trailer which we loaded up with our suitcases. I guess thats how it is done in Nebraska! :D
So I am serving in the Greenview Ward which is in Council Bluff Iowa. We will mostly be in Iowa but we do have some houses which we call "Mini Provo" because they are all going into law or doctor school, and they are just across the river. I am serving with Elder Cortez, He has been here for 7 months and he is waiting for his visa so he can go to Brazil. He is a really good teacher and he is pretty chill. Most of my area is in the ghetto, since the sisters here get most of the good parts. Its pretty cool hearing some of the stories that the people have told us. At least the few that actally would talk to us. So my companion and I white washed this area, which meens that both of us are new here.
So we really aren't sure where we need to start. The area book hasn't really been updated for a year so hopefully me and my compainion will be able to turn this around. We met with our ward mission leader and our bishop. Our bishops family is sooo cool and funny! He also drives a bright red 2012 camaro that we were able to be in. IT WAS AWESOME!!! Travis should be jelly of me right now. One of the stake presidents here owns most of the Papa Johns around here so every week, the missionaries can go and get a FREE one topping family size pizza which is AWESOME!
So since we don't really know this area and we don't know who we are suppose to be teaching, We went and started knocking on doors. It turned out it was an older folks townhome place that we were at, and after knocking on a few doors we noticed that none of them wanted to talk to us. So we decided to go up the street a little further and a cop pulled up to us. Turns out some of the older folks called the cops on us so an officer had to come make sure we were who we said we were. So ya, thats how my second day here went....
So on Sunday, we started off by going to choir practice.... yes, I'm in the choir now.... but they only have 8 people in the choir including me and Elder Cortez.... It was really nice to meet our ward, they are all young adults pretty much and they have A LOT of little kids running and screaming all over the place. It is a really nice ward and they are feeding us well. Almost every week is filled with dinners for us so thats good.
We are in a car share with another zone here, so every three days or whatever we have to give them the car. We drive a newish chevy cruze which is a nice car btw, and Elder Cortez is the driver which I am glad because the roads here are CRAZY! So many one way streets and the roads are sooo small.. We do have to start riding our bikes soon unless we can catch a ride places. But one of the bikes that were left for us is SUPER nice!  It comes with everything but a helmet big enough for my fat head but I'm sure I can find a bigger helmet.
We are living in a members home, we are just in the basement. But it was reallly strange because he wasn't there for the first two days that we were there... So we just made ourselves at home.
So about sending stuff, You can either send it to the mission office and they will forward it to me, or you can send it directly to me which I recommend, especially for the packages. The address for the place I am living is-
 Elder Brendan Scott Searle
21418 Greenview Rd
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
 Send some CDs!!! We can listen to anything that invites the spirit. Elder Cortez has some church music that is redone into more rock type feel to it. I know one of the Elders out here was listening to some Owl City songs. Elder Cortez said any music is fine with him. So send some cool music and some Christmas music since its that time of the year.
I am doing well, It was really good to talk to you guys at the airport. I was soo tired and worn out that day, and it was hard because unless I was asleep on the plane, I was mostly thinking about home and about everything so that didn't help out at all. But now that I am busy and  trying to find people to teach it has really helped.
It hasn't been as cold here as a thought, I've been good just wearing the inside part of my coat around at night. It has been around the 30s lately. We haven't gotten any snow yet but once we do I bet it will get cold. I DID GET TO WEAR MY SWEATER!!! I felt pretty cool.... :P
I hope I covered everything and that it made sense, I love you all and hope you are all having a fun time!!!!! :D
Love: Elder Searle
Bert N Sandy Ellsworth's photo.
Bert N Sandy Ellsworth's photo.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lots of mail and I love the food!

So, I hope you get this, I'm sending it in a weird way since I cannot for the life of me figure out how to start a new message...I guess not being on the computer all day has killed my brain. But anyways, today was my P-day, I'm so glad that we didn't have to do much today. We did go to the temple which was GREAT!! The dear elder letters have been a LIFESAVER!! I have gotten the most mail out of anyone in my district, please keep them coming!

So my companion is somewhat German, he only lived there for a year and then came here, he is funny! My room got some candy today since one of our district groups left today. It was hard saying goodbye because we were so close. We only knew them for a week but it felt like forever. The classes here aren't bad, you just sit there for like 7 hours a day. The food here is GREAT!! The Elders love to do chocolate milk challenges which the sisters HATE! One of the Elders drank 8 glasses in 40 secs.

I'm trying to think of things to write that I haven't told you about yet, but it's hard. Especially since it's REALLY loud in here and I can't think. So, I'm not homesick anymore like I was.  We either wake up at 6:05am or 6:30am. Today we woke up at 6:05am and had to go do service which was clean some of the chapels in the main building. I've been trying to take pictures of everything while I'm here, and it gives me something to do.

There were a lot of new missionaries to come in today. My room is on the fourth floor, which kinda sucks, but it's nice being away from everyone since the other floors are mostly full. On our side of the top floor we only had 3 rooms full of people, 4 in each one. Today we got two whole rooms full of new missionaries. It's strange thinking that just a week ago we were all dropped off. Time here is really strange, the days go by so slow and then so fast at the same time.  All the days blend into one.

I will fly out for Nebraska on Nov. 27, we need to be up and at the main building at 2:30AM. Our flight leaves at 6am and we fly to Minneapolis Minnesota. We then fly out to Omaha at 11:30am. I will call you either before 6am or when we are in Minnesota.

The food here is so good and the place is huge!! Gym has been pretty cool, it is a 3 story building and has a track and equipment. I usually run about a half mile since I'm out of shape and call it good!

My companion is the district leader so we both get to go pick up the mail, most of the mail is for me which I LOVE!!! It really makes my day!! My companion got a box today that he thought was going to be something really exciting, it was a box of popcorn, just popcorn. He was kinda bummed but we laughed about it!

I love you all, I know the Lord will watch over all of you. I hope everything is going well. I know that serving a mission will not only bless my life, but all of yours as well!

Love you all!!

Love, Elder Searle :D

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1st letters!

Dear Family,

These first 2 days have been rough. I'm going to start with the first day, the first day was weird but they are really good to help all the new missionaries get everything done. My companion is Elder Harda (pronounced hair-da) and is German. There are 4 of us to the room that can hold 6. One elder in my room, who I have no clue how to spell his name, is a convert. He has tattoos all over his arms, he played college football and was a wrestler, he did some MMA fighting. He is super buff and is so funny!

I did cry myself to sleep the first night, it was so hard! I miss all of you so much. I even cried at our branch meeting. I have to keep myself busy and then I am fine. Nights are the hardest, but I am now having fun.

The food here is great! It feels like I've been here for weeks, everyone says after sunday it will go by fast. It is so neat how the Spirit has worked on me already, I have already noticed a difference!

We just got our district leader and it's my companion! I really have no time to write, it is classes after classes but I want everyone to know how much I love you all. Take care and write me, I won't be able to read emails until Weds, but I love the dear elder letters each night!!

Love Elder Searle

Dear Family,

I know the last letter I sent wasn't all that happy, to be honest the first 2 days sucked. I was SO homesick, I especially miss Travis! Today was a special day though, my companion and I got all of our tears out over what we are struggling with the most...being homesick. We are now stronger than ever!! I was also asked to write "why am I here on my mission," I can answer that question tonight.....I remember how our family has been such a good influence on Kimber's family and how because of our examples, they have come back to church. That is why I am here! To bring families to the gospel, just like "little monkey." Tonight was a blast and I am so glad I am here!

I love the dear elder letters, PLEASE keep sending them to me!! My P-days are wed. I still love the food! I had 3 huge pieces of pizza tonight and cheesecake! I love my companion and my district is SO funny!
There is a HUGE Polynesian dude here, he took one whole box of pizza tonight and had 8 glasses of chocolate milk, then went back for seconds!! They all do the Haka dance that is really cool to watch.

Love you all, send letters!!

Elder Searle

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

setting apart

We took pictures before the setting apart. :) Such a neat experience to share with our parents and especially Brendan's siblings. We are going to miss him dearly, but we are all so excited for him.

Brendan's awesome grandparents! I think my dad took a picture of all of us that I'll have to post later.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mission Farewell

We had a wonderful day hearing Brendan speak and a yummy dinner afterwards. Thanks to all of his family and friends who helped out.

Brendan and "little monkey"

Brendan and Dalton
Brendan and Dallin